All India Congress Mahila Morcha activists demonstrate outside the BJP headquarters demanding immediate resignation of Union Minister Nihalchand Meghwal for his alleged involvement in a rape case.
Members of the Congress women’s wing on Wednesday staged a protest outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi demanding immediate resignation of Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Nihalchand Meghwal for his alleged involvement in a rape case.
The protesters led by Shobha Oza, president of the All India Congress Mahila Morcha, reached the BJP headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road around noon and raised anti-BJP slogans. They were also carrying placards demanding Mr. Meghwal’s resignation.
“This shows BJP’s double face. When there are rape cases in Uttar Pradesh, they demand President’s rule but when crimes happen in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, they keep quiet,” said Ms. Oza.
“If rape cases are normal for BJP, then what kind of security have they promised for women? Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised zero tolerance for crime against women, in the Parliament. So we want to ask him if this is zero tolerance?”
The protesters also claimed that the victim was being pressurised and demanded security for her.
“The victim has said that she is being forced to take back the case. Ministers and goons are trying to pressurise the victim. Minister (Mr. Meghwal) is using his power and position to threaten the woman. We do not see any justice for the victim. We demand immediate resignation of Nihal Chand and security to the survivor,” said Ms. Oza.
The demonstrators tried to breach the police barricade and burnt Mr. Meghwal’s effigy.
Onika Mehrotra, president of Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress who was also at the protest, said, “We have been very vocal about our demand... Then why aren’t they taking any action? Modi was the one to say bahut hua mahilao par attyachar, ab ki baar Modi sarkar, but where has the crime ended?”
Mr. Meghwal, 42, is the only member from Rajasthan in Mr. Modi’s Council of Ministers.
He was named in an FIR filed in 2011 by a woman who alleged that her husband repeatedly drugged her and then allowed his friends, among them Mr. Meghwal, to rape her.
Rajasthan Police had, in 2012, closed the case saying the charges were false and fabricated.
The woman had then approached a district court which, too, dismissed the charges. She filed a review petition, following which an additional district judge issued notices to Mr. Meghwal and 17 others in this case last week, asking them to respond by August 20, 2014.